Chinese president Xi Jinping promised to achieve “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan Saturday, capping a week of escalating tensions with the island.
Taiwan, which is democratically ruled, responded that only its citizens could decide its future, and called on China to end its coercion. Taiwan has come under increased military pressure from China to accept its rule.
In a speech at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Xi said that the Chinese people have a “glorious tradition” of fighting against separatism.
“Taiwan independence separatism is the biggest obstacle to achieving the reunification of the motherland, and the most serious hidden danger to national rejuvenation,” he said, according to a Reuters report.